Oconto County Health Officer Debra Konitzer issued Health Officer Order #4 closing Oconto County public and private campgrounds with one exemption for seasonal camping sites. Order #4 takes effect on Friday, April 24, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. and remains in effect until Tuesday, May 26, 2020 or as otherwise ordered by Oconto County Public Health.
The role of the Health Officer includes the authority to take all measures necessary to prevent, suppress and control the spread of communicable disease. This includes forbidding public gatherings when deemed necessary to control the outbreaks of disease pandemics.
“We understand the many disruptions and sacrifices caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we appreciate our residents’ willingness to continue to adapt to these changes,” stated Debra Konitzer, Oconto County Health Officer. “The measures in this order are meant to prevent gathering and promote social distancing which we know is our best way to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Seasonal camping sites are those for extended stay (for example, 6 months) and typically have a contract. Seasonal sites are exempt from this order and may remain open with restrictions for both the campgrounds and seasonal site occupants.
Campground restrictions are as follows: campgrounds are required to comply with the Safer at Home Order Sections 13.b, 13.d, and 13.e as well as close swimming pools, beaches, hot tubs and exercise facilities. Campgrounds must not allow guests to congregate in common areas such as lobbies, and also must provide enough space for people to practice social distancing in common areas. Campgrounds must prohibit use of buildings that encourage social gathering such as toilet, laundry and shower facilities. Campgrounds must limit all campsites to members of a single household or living unit and prohibit all other private gatherings of any number of people.
Seasonal site occupants are required to follow the Safer at Home Order. This means to maintain social distancing of six feet at all times, remain at their place of residence except for the exceptions allowed in the Safer at Home Order and to not host any gatherings of any number of people that are not part of their single household/living unit.
“Oconto County Public Health anticipates cooperation and support of these measures from campgrounds and seasonal site owners as we work together to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep our communities safe and healthy,” stated Konitzer.